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5 things to know about Cowboys’ Pick 56, DE Marshawn Kneeland



5 things to know about Cowboys’ Pick 56, DE Marshawn Kneeland

The primary spherical of the NFL draft fell almost precisely the way in which the Cowboys needed, leaving them so a lot of their desired prospects at 24 that they traded all the way down to 29 and nonetheless bought certainly one of them, plus an additional choice besides.

The second spherical, nonetheless, was a unique story. Friday night time started with a great deal of gamers who had been linked to Dallas nonetheless on the board, however they appeared to go one after one other, with the Cowboys left to look at their choices dwindle, ready their flip with the 56th total decide.

When the time got here, they went with Marshawn Kneeland, the defensive finish from Western Michigan. His is a reputation that didn’t get lots of consideration from Cowboys media within the pre-draft course of and mock draft season, so followers can be forgiven in the event that they don’t know so much about him.

However the Cowboys have proven a knack for utilizing the second spherical to search out hidden gems, gamers who go on to develop into family names. And the extra you find out about Kneeland, the extra it looks like he might be the subsequent in that line.

Cowboys Nation, get to know Marshawn Kneeland.

Kneeland additionally lettered in basketball and monitor in highschool, and people abilities have stayed with him on the soccer area. His Relative Athletic Rating locations him within the high 10% of all defensive ends since 1987. Inside the class of 2024, he scored larger than Alabama’s Dallas Turner and Penn State’s Chop Robinson, each first-round draft picks.

When Western Michigan fired head coach Tim Lester and the remainder of the Broncos employees after a 5-7 season in 2022, Kneeland jumped into the switch portal. Regardless of robust curiosity from TCU and UCLA, Kneeland dedicated to Colorado after a go to to Boulder. However whereas assembly afterward with new Western Michigan coach Lance Taylor, Kneeland requested that defensive coordinator Lou Esposito be introduced again to this system. When it occurred, Kneeland modified his thoughts and stayed in Kalamazoo for his remaining collegiate season, main the group in sacks and incomes second-team All-MAC honors.

Dane Brugler calls Kneeland’s recreation movie in opposition to Japanese Michigan in October “the perfect single tape of any cross rusher in 2023.” In a 45-21 win on Japanese’s concrete-gray turf, Kneeland turned in 11 tackles, three sacks, 4 tackles for loss, a pressured fumble that was recovered for a landing, and was answerable for two safeties on the day.

Kneeland accepted an invitation to Cellular after his senior yr, and he made essentially the most of it. After a robust observe week that noticed him get the perfect of a number of of the nation’s easiest O-linemen prospects (together with Taliese Fuaga, Roger Rosengarten, and Kingsey Suamataia), Kneeland performed all through the Senior Bowl and recorded one deal with, half a sack, and half a deal with for loss.

Broncos head coach Lance Taylor thanked Kneeland for staying in Kalamazoo by giving him an opportunity to run the rock in Western’s 2023 season opener. Up 28-17 within the fourth quarter, the 6-foot-3-inch 267-pounder lined up because the tailback from half a yard out on a 4th-and-goal name. The massive man adopted his blockers and plunged into the top zone for the ultimate rating of the sport. (It was his second try, however he lastly punched it in.) He ended his school profession with two carries for one yard and one landing.

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